Love Haiti with a Special Offering This Sunday

“Devastation” seems to be about the only way to describe what happened in Haiti this week as a result the 7.0 magnitude earthquake. While an earthquake in any part of the world is a problem, in a country like Haiti it is a catastrophe. Consider the fact that 80% of the 9 million people in the country live below the poverty line. Consider the fact that only about 50% of the population is literate. Consider the fact that most of the buildings constructed on the island are significantly below proper codes and standards. These statistics just make a situation like a major earthquake even more of a crisis with a much longer recovery time.

This is the time when the church should be at it’s best. After all, we are Jesus in this world today. I believe He would bring help to the people of Haiti. So, this Sunday we are preparing to take up a special offering to assist in the relief effort. If you are going to write a check, you can make it out to Cornerstone United Methodist Church and put UMCOR in the memo line. UMCOR stands for United Methodist Committee on Relief. They are one of the relief organizations on the ground in Haiti right now. Your money will go directly to helping those who have been affected by the earthquake.

Thank you in advance for your generosity and helping our church be Christ to a hurting people.

Recap of “TEN” and Cornerstone’s Anniversary

Our tenth anniversary celebration this past Sunday was amazing! It was so good to take a minute as a church and just appreciate what God has done in the life of Cornerstone. I still connect with that passage from 1 Peter 2:4-6 as much today as I did ten years ago…

“As you come to him, the living Stone–rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him–5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
6 For in Scripture it says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame.”
When you do church in a skate center, this verse is very important! It is a reminder that church is not about a building, it’s about people. The building is just a tool for evangelism. In light of this I remain forever grateful to every person who along the way has been a “living stone” placed here by God to do His work. It has been a crazy, exciting, scary, incredible, exhausting, unbelievable journey!

I am equally excited about what’s in store for us in the years ahead. Like the prophet proclaimed in Isaiah 42:9,

“See, the former things have taken place,
and new things I declare;
before they spring into being
I announce them to you.”
New things are on the way for Cornerstone. I am praying for us as a church and asking God to do greater things. I hope you will pray this with me!

Well, that’s it. See you under the ball!

It is Our 10th Anniversary at Cornerstone!

WOW, just WOW! I cannot believe our church’s 10th anniversary is this Sunday! As I think about my message for this special occasion I thought I would just give you a little preview of what you will hear.

Skate center, disco ball, smells, noises, uncertainty, faithfulness, commitment, free skate nights, packed trailers, “Cletus” videos, worship, loving people, difficulties, perseverance, salvation, baby pool baptisms, free bottled water, free movie nights, Ecuador missions, Vacation Sunday, Trunk R Treat, groundbreaking, 20 acres, $1.2 million, sacrifice, new building, sausage biscuits, vision, believing, creativity, KidzTown, Seaside, Youth, College, Pay it Forward, community, giving, grace, Cindy Wall, Buloba, Uganda, Hiram pulls a bus, the playground, the Well, the children, Patrick, Sarah, Eva, Isaac, Zariah, Jesus, love, hope, partners, Gospel, Leading people, knowing, serving, 10, church, Cornerstone, one, you, us.

Today as we celebrate 10 years of ministry here is East Alabama and around the world, I am reminded and humbled in the presence of the God who is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last, who holds the keys to life itself, who is the keeper of gates and doors through which we have passed, are passing and will pass. He is the God who decided this church should exist. He gave us the power and focus to stay true to our mission and vision. He is the reason we can celebrate the last ten years, he is the reason we celebrate the right now, and the incredible future He has in store for the people and ministry of Cornerstone Church. Personally I am so grateful on this special day to be a part of this movement.

I could never have imagined the night before our first worship service, nervously sitting at my desk, so much would happen in ten years. I couldn’t get beyond the next morning. I couldn’t get out of the bathroom! I remember my prayer went something like this, “Oh God, if you don’t make this happen it will never work.”

God has certainly done more than I could have asked or imagined through Cornerstone. I am deeply thankful for every person who gave, served, sacrificed, loved, worked, prayed and were faithful to helping us move forward. It has been an amazing decade. But, we will only look back for a moment. We have always been a church that kept our vision forward. I am more excited about the Kingdom work that has yet to be done!

So, come join us this Sunday as we celebrate ministry past, present and future.

I Have Been Undermined as a Pastor!

I read this quote the other day that really caused me to take an evaluation of my heart. It said this, “Jesus relentlessly undermines all that is not of God to make room for the God who has redeemed our hearts.” Sometimes, even as a pastor, I still find junk inside of me that is not of God. Stuff that eats up precious space in me. What that tells me is that somewhere along the way I have not allowed Jesus to do his best work in me. I have selfishly harbored some dark, delicious poison that is slowly doing damage to my soul. It’s not even something that others can see. Like Paul said, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Hoarding junk just squashes the work of Christ in us! My prayer for me and you is that we would allow Jesus to do his best work of undermining everything not of God in us, so that we can stand upright and blameless before Him.

Want To Go to the Holy Land??

How awesome would it be to go to the places you read about in the Bible?? Places like the Sea of Galilee, Jordan River, Jerusalem and Bethlehem. How about to walk on ground that Jesus walked on? Well, just thought I’d let you know that Becky and I will be helping lead a trip to the land next year and we really want you to come.

The dates are December 26 (2010)-January 3 (2011). I have been to this part of the world 3 times and toured all of the sites. It is amazing! Once you have gone, reading the Bible becomes a whole new deal because you’ve been to that mountain, or city or river they are talking about. So, go ahead and put it on the calender. We will be having an informational meeting about the trip some time in January.

If you want to go just call Lynn Blount (887-1152) in the church office and let her know you’re interested. She’ll put you on a list so you can be updated about the meeting in January and the details of the trip. It’s going to be great, so come on!!

Am I still blogging??

Wow, I went to and discovered I still have a blog even though I haven’t posted in about two months!! I am a blog slacker.
So, this is just a quick one to get me back on track.

I’m just praying for all of us at Cornerstone as we work through this message series “Debt Relief”. There are many folks strrruuuugggllin’ with their finances these days and I know that if this part of our life goes bad it can cause other parts of our life to go bad as well. But, if we get honest about it and then ask God to give us the strength to do the right thing we begin to move toward relief, freedom, joy and the peace that God wants for us. I’m excited that we’ve created a step for people to take in this area by having Joe Sangl, author of “I was Broke But Now I’m Not”, come and lead us in some practical teaching on finances.

You should come! Bring a friend (or several). Check out our website for more info.

See ya!

Huge Day!

Wow! Sunday was a big day. It was kinda crazy, but good. So we definitely need 3 services, now we just need to spread out the crowd a little among the services. I think that will happen over the next few weeks.
BIG THANKS to all of our servants who jumped in to be a part of this movement God is orchestrating. Ya’ll are awesome.
Well, gotta go, Sunday’s comin!

1 hour 32 minutes 12 seconds

I did it…completed my first triathlon. My time was 1 hour 32 minutes and 12 seconds. The hardest part of that whole race – the 12 seconds! Man, I was gutting it out at the end trying to push it a little for a better time. But, all in all it was great! My time didn’t matter nearly as much to me as being with friends, having fun and discovering the boundaries of my physical limitations. I will do it again.
So proud of Mark and Lori Fuller, Paul Hansel, Mike Hart and Jack Fisher for their amazing performances. They were the best part of the whole thing. Special thanks to Amy Hart who fed us a veritable cornicopia of carb-loading joy on Friday night! Thanks to all of you for your prayers and words of encouragement.

It’s coming…

Man! Just when you think the summer couldn’t get any shorter…it does! I can’t believe August is here, school starts next week, the football hype is ramping up, the humidity is ramping up and vacation memories are, well, memories by now for most of us.

Also, we are beginning to ramp things up around the church. There’s an air of anticipation and excitement as our attention shifts to the upcoming months. Much of the attention these days is focused on August 23, the day we go to three services (8:30, 10:00 & 11:30). What a crazy, awesome day that will be. It is critical for us to create more space as we grow, so adding a third service is a way for us to not only gain space, but communicate our mission to the community. In doing this we are saying that we are committed to reaching people who are searching for God by creating an environment that helps them find Him.  It is also very important that we do this well.

Which brings me to our “Attend One Serve One” campaign you hopefully have heard about by now. This is a great opportunity for people looking for a place to get involved to go ahead take that step. We are already seeing people jump in and say, “I’ll do whatever you need done, just point me in the right direction”. This is a time when we get to rally together as the church, as a unit, a team and declare our passion for God and what He is trying to do through Cornerstone. AND always on the other side of our commitment of time and energy is an individual or family who discover grace, hope, community and a Savior who loves them. That’s the win for us right there!

Anyway, just excited and full of aniticipation about what’s around the next corner. Before you know it, it will be Christmas :-)

20 Years – seriously?

TODAY is Becky and I’s 20th wedding anniversary. Wow. It’s hard to believe 20 years ago at the moment of typing this blog, I was nervously anticipating standing up in front of all those people (~900), saying my “I Do’s” while trying not to pass out, drop the ring, or trip and fall. The phrase “blink of an eye” comes to mind here.

I will say, I am tremendously blessed to have such an incredible wife in Becky. We have known each other since Kindergarten, started dating when we were 15 and married at age 22. Even though we have known each other most of our lives, it never seems that way. We have our moments of being frustrated with each other, pouting, intentional silence, (all the stuff couples do in the heat of battle over important issues like who left the jelly out on the counter!) but we bounce back pretty quickly. I believe it’s because we have not only committed ourselves to each other, but we’ve committed our marriage to God. We just decided we are in this for the long haul – that’s it. We’re ready to go another 20, 30, 40, well, until one, or both of us heads on out of this world. I love Becky so much and would find it very difficult to live without her. She is an awesome mom, wife, daughter, sister and follower of Christ. Yep, I got it made!

We’ll be heading up to B’Ham this weekend to celebrate (kidless of course :-)   ). See ya later!

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